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Coun John Wilkinson’s guest column: Hucknall residents show getting involved works

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This week, the people of Hucknall provided proof positive that getting involved works. At a time when fewer and fewer people bother to vote, when there is general disillusionment about how ordinary people can affect change, Hucknall folk have proved the pessimists wrong.

Earlier this year, the Local Government Boundary Commission for England produced plans that completely changed the electoral map of Hucknall.

Under these plans, the name of Hucknall would have vanished, long-standing close communities would have been divided and Hucknall would have been under-represented at Ashfield District Council.

The Keep Hucknall Hucknall campaign was set up to fight these plans – through discussions with community groups, our own dedicated web-site, petitions, both written and online, and a letter writing campaign. Over 1240 Hucknall people contributed to this challenge with the result that the Commission has produced new recommendations based on our work.

The new plan keeps the name of Hucknall, provides for familiar and recognised ward boundaries to be retained and, by giving Hucknall an extra councillor, strengthens Hucknall’s voice in the council chamber.

The fight is not completely won; by accepting so much of the KHH ideas, the Commission felt it right to allow another period of consultation, until August 26th.Keep Hucknall Hucknall will be collecting names and organisations to support the new recommendations and everyone has the chance to give their view directly on the Local Government Boundary Commission website or to write to them at Ashfield Review, Local Government Boundary Commission for England, Layden House, 76-86 Turnmill St, London EC1M 6LG. I urge all those who have worked so hard so far, to keep up the fight.

The Keep Hucknall Hucknall campaign, in one sense, was a political campaign; but it was never a party political campaign.

People from across Hucknall, of all parties and none, supported this fight. As a Labour county councillor I will be out working to persuade people in Hucknall to elect a Labour MP next May and to get as many Labour councillors on to Ashfield District Council – that is one my day jobs! But for now, I am just so proud to be part of a town that cared enough to have its’ voice heard.

 

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